Old Fashioned Cocktail (1)
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  • Food: Old Fashioned Cocktail
  • Writer: Nicolas Wilson
  • Content-Type: Food Blog

Who’s up for a drink? It’s been an exhausting week. Let’s unwind with an Old Fashioned Cocktail, one of the most traditional cocktails.

The Old Fashioned is obviously for whiskey fans, but it may also persuade non-believers to try a whiskey cocktail after all.

The Old Fashioned, like mulled wine, is ideal for the holidays, chilly evenings, and practically any time you’re sitting around a fire. It’s a powerful, energetic cocktail with hints of citrus and sweetness.

I came up with a delectable variation on the basic recipe that also happens to be a time saver. I’m sure you can guess what it is if you’ve been reading this site for some time.

That’s true, instead of using simple syrup, I used maple syrup. Old Fashioned cocktails have traditionally been made with a sugar cube or simple syrup.

I’m here to tell you that they’re even better with maple syrup, which enhances the caramel tones in bourbon and blends in seamlessly.

Maple syrup was not easily available when the Old Fashioned became popular. It’s fortunate for us that it’s now. The greatest Old Fashioned you’ll ever make at home comes from this recipe. I hope you’ll give it a shot!

Ingredients for an Old Fashioned Cocktail


Choose a decent bourbon whiskey because it’ll be the main ingredient in your Old Fashioned. Low-quality bourbons are simply too bitter in this situation.

Four Roses are one of the greatest bourbons for Old Fashioned cocktails. It’s only 80 proof, so it’s not too strong. It’s also reasonably priced and lends itself well to drinks, with undertones of cinnamon spice and vanilla.

Note: Rye can be used in Old Fashioned cocktails, but I prefer the sweeter flavor of bourbon to the astringency of rye. You make your own decisions.

Syrup from maple trees

Most Old Fashioned recipes call for a sugar cube or a tablespoon of simple syrup, as I previously stated. Simple syrup is an extra step; sugar is grainy; they’re both sweet.

Real maple syrup is simple to incorporate into the drink and tastes fantastic. Because we won’t be using much of it, the flavor will be faint.

Bitters of Angostura

Old Fashioned Cocktail yum (1)
Food: Old Fashioned Cocktail (Source: Cocktail Contessa)

Bitters are created from a combination of botanicals, and only a few drops add a lot of flavor and depth to a cocktail. With classic Angostura bitters, you can’t go wrong.

Bartenders will frequently add another dash of bitters from a different brand, allowing you to create your concoction.


Ice cools the drink and dilutes it slightly, mellowing the alcohol’s strong bite. Extra-large ice cubes, which I freeze in this ice cube tray, are my preferred method (affiliate link).

Large ice cubes are good because they melt slowly and you only need one for each drink.

Peel an orange

Without a twist of citrus, no classic Old Fashioned is complete. Although I prefer orange to lemon, you can use either. Use both orange and lemon peel for a “rabbit ears” combo.

Cocktail Cherry (optional)

It’s up to you if you want to add a cocktail cherry. Spend a little extra on a jar of Luxardo cherries to give yourself an excuse to prepare additional whiskey cocktails. Next, try a Manhattan!


3-minute prep time

3 minutes in total

Yield: 1 drink

Instead of simple syrup, maple syrup is used in this Old Fashioned cocktail recipe. It’s the most delicious Old Fashioned you’ll ever drink! One drink can be made with this recipe. See the note below for instructions on how to produce in quantity.


  • 2 ounces bourbon (I like Four Roses)
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon maple syrup, to taste
  • 2 dashes of Angostura bitters
  • Ice, preferably large cubes
  • Orange peel, for garnish
  • Optional: 1 Luxardo cherry or another cocktail cherry, for garnish

Instructions For Old Fashioned Cocktail

Old Fashioned Cocktail yummy (1)
Food: Old Fashioned Cocktail (Source: Cocktail Contessa)
  1. Pour the bourbon, 1/2 teaspoon maple syrup, and a couple of dashes of bitters into a lowball glass. To blend, stir everything together.
  2. Add a large ice cube or several tiny ice cubes and mix gently in a circular motion for about 20 seconds, or until the drink is very cold. If you prefer a sweeter drink, add 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of additional maple syrup.
  3. Remove a large strip of orange peel with a vegetable peeler. To release the oils, gently spin it over the drink, skin side down. Then, in the glass, lay the orange peel. Enjoy.


  • TIP FOR MEASUREMENT: Two ounces equals 1/4 cup. For measuring little volumes of liquid, I like to use this stainless steel jigger (affiliate link).
  • INSTRUCTIONS FOR MULTIPLYING: Make a batch of Old Fashioned cocktails. In a pitcher, put a handful or two of ice cubes. As needed, double the foundation ingredients (bourbon, maple syrup, Angostura) and combine them. Fill glasses halfway with ice and serve.